I attended the RT convention last week in Kansas City, my first reader conference. I had so much fun! I roomed with Maya Banks, her assistant, and her swag.
Books, notebooks, pens, tumblers, postcards…Maya knows how to bring the swag.
Maya Banks at Club RT
I spent a lot of time on the bench out front with some of my favorite people.
Maya Banks, me, Jaci Burton, and Shannon Stacey
See that ray of sunlight? That was the last bit I saw until I flew home on Sunday. A few hours after this was taken, the temperature dropped then we had snow. I packed for spring in Georgia. Not my brightest move. It was cold, y’all. So. Cold.
Thankfully, it was nice and toasty in the Ebook Expo where I met some wonderful authors. This was my favorite event on the RT schedule. It was relaxed and I got a chance to just dish books with the authors. Upcoming books, past favorites, other authors’ books, it didn’t matter. It was all about the books.
Dana Marie Bell and Christine Bell/Chloe Cole
Jules Bennett and Meg Benjamin
Vivian Arend and Rita Arens
Dee Tenorio chatting with a reader
I met Mari Carr and got all excited about her upcoming book and babbled some about Fix You. Mari is the nicest person! I don’t mean the nicest at RT, I mean the nicest person IN THE WORLD! Seriously. I felt happy just being around her. I went to her table as someone who enjoyed her books and left with a slight girl-crush on her.
I’d had lunch with Angela James earlier and she had talked a bit about an upcoming novella from Carina Press’s Christmas antho and I knew I had to have this book. It had all my favorite things about romance and she promised it was super angsty. I must have!!! Then I forgot the author’s name. So I spent part of the expo looking for Angie to ask for the name again. Found her!
Turns out the novella is by Stacy Gail and I forgot to get a photo of her because she was just as excited to talk about her book as I was to listen. I’m sure I’ll be talking more about this book closer to release date. Did I mention how much I want it? Moving on…
Shari Mikels registered for RT as an aspiring author but by the time she got there, she wasn’t aspiring any longer. Seeing her with “Published Author” on her name tag was beyond cool. Look for her debut book in December from Carina Press.
I swung by the Samhain party and met up with Mimmi from Mimmi’s Musings, Jessie from USA HEA, and Joy from Joyfully Reviewed. Then they were photo bombed by a wolfie! (aka Vivian Arend)
Mimmi, Jessie, Viv, and Joy
At some point, Shannon Stacey’s craving for an iced coffee and my craving for a sweet tea got the best of us and we took a taxi to McDonald’s.
On the bench with Shannon Stacey in 30 degree temps, enjoying our iced drinks
I had dinner with these lovely ladies. (Photo taken by E from Bookpushers)
Then came my favorite moment of the convention. The Giant Book Fair and Julie Garwood was there. She was my first romance author and 22 years of fan-girl bubbled up inside me. Maya Banks, Angela James, and I were the first ones in line and we were lying in wait for the awesomeness that is Julie Garwood. Then it started, Julie wasn’t there yet and Maya and Angela had to get to work so I was now #1 in line, holding Maya’s copy of Honor’s Splendor to get signed for her and my hardback of The Bride. And then there she was. Julie Garwood.
The amazing Julie Garwood
Know what happens when 22 years of fan-girl bubbles up in you? Gushing. An amazingly embarrassing amount of gushing. And I was teary eyed. I handed her Maya’s book to sign and she says “Oh, I’ve heard of her and wanted to try her books.” My mouth dropped open, I stammered my goodbyes, and RAN to Maya’s table to tell her what Julie said. Her mouth dropped open, she threw panicked looks between her signing line and Julie’s table and says “We are getting over there before this is over.” An hour later, Maya got a break in her line, grabbed me and we dashed to Julie’s table where Maya proceeded to gush more than I did. And teared up, too.
Maya Banks and Julie Garwood
Then The Moment came. Yes, that needed to be capitalized. Julie Garwood asked Maya for a copy of her book. Maya told her I’d bring it right back to her. Off we went back to Maya’s table where she told the now long line of waiting readers “I need to sign this for Julie Garwood. Be with you all in minute!” Since Maya didn’t bring any historicals with her to the signing, it was a copy the book seller sent and had to be paid for so I took off at a run for the cashiers where there were HUNDREDS of people in line. I grabbed an RT volunteer, explained the situation, jumped the line, paid for the book, ran out the exit, hit the table to get it stamped, ran back in the entrance, bee lined for the back…and Julie Garwood was gone. The table was totally empty. I saw her pretty blue sweater halfway up the aisle, making her way to the door. This is where I should be embarrassed but I’m not. I chased Julie Garwood through the book signing, yelling her name like a hero in an over-the-top romance. And this happened.
Julie Garwood holding Maya’s book
I spent the rest of RT in a daze, taking pics of wonderful authors and telling them about the amazing Julie Garwood. My reader life is now complete. I met Julie Garwood. I’m done.
Maya Banks with readers